Lead whose symbol is Pb, is a popular metal in most industrial and domestic applications. However, one question people ask every day – is whether lead is magnetic or not.
The answer is quite straightforward – pure lead is non-magnetic.
Understanding Magnetism in Lead
Just like other non-magnetic metals such as goud, tungsten, or titanium, lead does not exhibit active magnetic properties.
However, experiments show that lead metal can interact with magnetic fields. Take for instance, if you move a strong magnetic field around a can made from lead, you will notice some movements.
However, this does not imply that lead has ferromagnetiese eienskappe. Usually, this behavior can be attributed to a weak paramagnetic property. It is worth noting that these cans are not 100% pure lead.
Lead Electronic Configuration vs Magnetism
The magnetic properties of metals depend on the existence of electrons. Usually, the behavior of electrons in a metal will determine whether a material becomes magnetic.
Lead has two unpaired electrons in the outer shell. However, these unpaired electrons do combine. This results in a molecular structure with a sigma bond. In the end, you will realize that these electrons tend to spin in a reverse direction which essentially makes lead a non-magnetic material.
When evaluating lead, it has 2 unpaired electrons in its p-orbital.
With this unique behavior, it is accurate to classify lead as a diamagnetiese materiaal. Earlier, we had mentioned that in the presence of a strong magnetic field, lead may acquire weak paramagnetic properties (nota: There are special conditions, which contribute to such conditions).
If you compare lead to other magnetic metals say iron:
In iron, you will realize that electrons spin in the same direction. This contributes to ferromagnetic properties, which essentially makes it a magnetic material.
However, in situations where electrons spin in different directions, the net magnetic effect cancels out. What this implies is that the material will remain non-magnetic.
Lead as Diamagnetic Material
When evaluating lead magnetic properties, we classify the material as diamagnetic. Diamagnetic materials are repelled by a magnetic field.
Therefore, when you evaluate the magnetic dipole in lead, you will realize it is aligned in the opposite direction as that of the magnetic field. It is actually for this reason that lead tends to move away when subjected to a magnetic field.
Usually, the diamagnetic property of pure lead is evident when you subject the material to strong magnetic at high temperatures. Remember, at low temperatures with weak magnetic fields, the effect will be very insignificant.
At times, people wonder whether they can magnetize lead or not.
Ideally, this brings us to an important discussion on lead magnetic susceptibility. It is the ability to magnetize lead material. Theoretically, the magnetic susceptibility of lead is – 1.8.
The negative value here implies lead will get repelled when you apply a magnetic field. This figure justifies the fact that lead is a diamagnetic material.
Moreover, lead does not affect the magnetic field lines.
Two things are clear here – one lead is non-magnetic and two, the material is diamagnetic. Therefore, you can use lead in applications that do not require magnetic material.
Furthermore, if you add ferromagnetic impurities, these magnetic characteristics may change.
Lei – Bron: WIKIPEDIA
Lys van magnetiese metale – Bron: SCIENCING